The November 2017 Newsletter

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We work with wonderful contractors and, recently, helped design Mavin Construction’s new office space. Additionally, we are sharing our work in Evans, Georgia, revealing some details about the new Columbia County Performing Arts Center. Enjoy!

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October News

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October was jaaaaam packed! Instagram is a great way to keep up with the goings-on but we cherry-picked a few tasty nuggets to give y’all a little taste:

Neville Hall debuted at Presbyterian College, Greenville native/West Coast transplant, Kate Barton, joined the team as our Creative Coordinator, and we have some big news about a new Greenville County School District project!

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Restoring Neville Hall at Presbyterian College

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The architectural icon of Presbyterian College (PC) in Clinton, South Carolina is Neville Hall. The domed, Georgian Revival style centerpiece of the historic liberal arts campus was designed by noted South Carolina architect Charles Coker Wilson and made its stately appearance in 1907. Neville Hall has served PC in multiple capacities over the years, leaving a sense of nostalgia for those who have passed through its doors.

Commissioned to restore the grandeur of the original design, Craig Gaulden Davis launched an intensive study of the building’s condition and historical significance, paying particular attention to the central rotunda that had been concealed by decades of renovations. Working closely with faculty, administration and board members to execute this dream, the rotunda’s majestic volume now connects each floor to the octagonal main entrance and floods the interior with natural light. The dazzling geometry of the sculpted ceiling, arched windows, ornamental railings and custom chandelier provide a remarkable composition of architectural delight.

CGD was also challenged to provide a sensitive addition to the back of the historic structure, activating the green space that defines the heart of campus and to provide additional academic space and a new student lounge. Named the Cornelson Center, the addition features a stone and glass entrance portico that honors the character of the original building while asserting a more contemporary design. The interior décor features updated finishes and furnishings with upgraded mechanical, electrical, lighting and technology systems to establish a crisp, clean, state-of-the-art aesthetic. As a tasteful link to Neville Hall, a portion of the original façade and rear entrance is prominently preserved in the stairwell adjacent to the student lobby.

Though a century of architectural methods and materials have passed, the spatial experience between old and new is intentionally seamless as it parallels the narrative of Presbyterian College’s academic foundation and continued commitment to cultivating subsequent generations of scholars.

The September 2017 Newsletter

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The September newsletter celebrates 5 of our most dedicated team members. Their brief bios give a glimpse into the lives and legacies of CEO Edward T. Zeigler, Kim Poole, David Dixon, Scott Simmons and John Hansen.

In CGD project news, we cover the opening of Fleming Hall at Converse College and offer a design preview of Level 10, Rick Erwin Dining Group’s restaurant atop the new AC Hotel in Spartanburg.

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Celebrating Five Momentous Anniversaries

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Ed Zeigler joined the firm in 1983 and within two years became a Principal to help transition leadership to the next generation. His business acumen was integral to shepherding the firm through the multi-year recession and, throughout, he has maintained CGD’s legacy of integrity, cultivating culture and community through the practice of architecture.

During his 34 year tenure, Ed has masterfully fostered a team of expert designers who contribute to the continued success of CGD projects. Ed has been actively involved in the American Institute of Architects (AIA) since 1980, serving as president of AIA Greenville, AIA SC and as South Atlantic Regional Director on the national AIA Board from 2008 to 2010. Ed has chaired and planned three state conferences, one regional conference and served as Education Chair of the 2012 National AIA Convention. He was appointed the AIA Liaison to the American Institute of Architecture Students (2009-2011), a personal highlight, as he mentored young architects entering the profession. His commitment to the profession was acknowledged in 2010 as the recipient of the Medal of Distinction by the AIASC Chapter and in 2014 when Ed was elevated to the College of Fellows, the highest and most prestigious AIA membership honor.

Regarded locally for his community involvement, Ed is former chair and still active with the Art in Public Places Commission and a member of the board of Artisphere. Ed’s life interests in gardening, painting and continued dedication to his family contribute to the growing portfolio of Zeigler’s life work.

Professional and Social Organizational Activity: AIA, SC Independent Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees, Poinsett Club Board of Governors, Administrative Team at Augusta Road Baptist Church

Ed’s Notable 5:  South Carolina Children’s Theatre | Greenville, SC

Brookgreen Gardens Visitor’s Center | Murrells Inlet, SC

City of Greenville, SC | Master Plan, Pedrick’s Garden, Falls Park, TD Convention Center

Younts Conference Center | Furman University | Greenville, SC

Worship Center | First Baptist Church | North Augusta, SC


Kim Poole joined Craig Gaulden Davis in 1985 and, as a fun fact, is exactly 32 days younger than the firm. Kim joined when she was 28 years old and the two of them rather grew up together.

Kim has a background from the University of Georgia’s College of Journalism and an Associate of Applied Science in Architectural and Engineering Technology from Greenville Technical College. She can tackle just about anything that heads her direction and over the past 32 years she has worked in all areas of CGD administration.

Her personal interests include audiophile vinyl and anything related to the automobile industry; she served on the board of the EURO Auto Festival for 13 years.

Kim has spent over half of her life supporting CGD’s growth, has been an asset to the design team and is one of the firm’s most enthusiastic cheerleaders.

Notable Achievement: Helped usher the firm into the digital age, from typewriters with carbon paper and 8” floppy disks to thumb drives and the internet.


David Dixon has enjoyed a long marriage with CGD.

After returning from the honeymoon of his real marriage, also his first day at CGD, David has contributed to all parts of the practice since 1987.  His deep commitment to the firm’s philosophy of quality design and professional practice have steered his passion for three decades.

His clients in civic, education, commerce, ministry and residential sectors appreciate David’s personal commitment to collaborative design and the skillful execution of ideas.

As a child, David took an early interest in building and architectural drawing.  His creative instincts, rooted in a deep appreciation for classic literature, music, world history and human philosophy incline him toward rigorous analysis and problem solving as a method to express complex ideas in understandable terms. David builds trust with his clients as he seeks to express ideas that resolve the tensions between aspirational and financial constraints that are inherently a part of every design exercise.

Named as a principal of the firm in 1990, David has been a critical part of the firm’s second generation leadership and serves a variety of professional, civic and cultural organizations with the same passions that he brings to his work at CGD.

Professional and Social Organizational Activity: AIA, Greenville Chamber of Commerce, Public Library Association Conference Presenter, SC Library Association Conference Presenter, AIA South Atlantic Regional Conference Committee Member, Leadership Greenville Participant, Liberal Arts Leadership Program Participant, Riverplace Festival Board Director, Give Me A Brake Campaign (Greenville) and First Presbyterian Church Elder

David’s Notable 5: Neville Hall | Presbyterian College | Clinton, SC

Metropolitan Library | Atlanta-Fulton County Library System, GA

First Presbyterian Church | Greenville, SC

Junior Housing Complex | Converse College | Spartanburg, SC

Cryovac Corporate Headquarters | Duncan, SC


Scott Simmons has played a key role at CGD in the design of libraries, churches and cultural buildings, as well as a range of beautiful residences since 1987. Scott approaches architecture from a material perspective, understanding building design as an assemblage of parts and their physical requirements. “Architecture is a thing.” He views details and technical requirements as opportunities to add clarity to the overall design. Scott’s delight in architecture is akin to solving puzzles, when the care of designing the pieces translates to a beautifully simple built solution. This approach often leads him to discover innovative answers that not only win awards, but also serve the client in unexpected ways. With poise and 30 years of design experience, Scott describes architecture as a dialogue:

“We listen to our client, the context of the building, the constraints and opportunities the program presents, then we draw until the building speaks for itself.”

Professional and Social Organizational Activity: AIA, NCARB, USGBC – LEED AP, BD+C, International Code Council, First Presbyterian Church Elder and Former Cubmaster.

Scott’s Notable 5: Christ Church Episcopal School Chapel | Greenville, SC

Episcopal Church of the Incarnation | Highlands, NC

McGlothlin Center for the Arts | Emory & Henry College | Emory, VA

Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church | Augusta, GA

Devils Fork State Park | Oconee County, SC


John Hansen joined the firm in 1997 and was named an Associate in 2014 and Principal in 2017.  With expertise in Religious and Cultural Design, Historic Preservation and Sustainability, John is a recognized leader in all facets of the firm’s activities, from master planning and design to construction administration. His participation in state and national offices of the US Green Building Council demonstrate his dedication and execution to forward thinking design can be seen in Greenville’s Kroc Center, Heritage Park Amphitheatre in Simpsonville and the development of the SC Children’s Theatre’s new headquarters. John recently completed the 43rd class of Leadership Greenville, setting him up as a design influencer for Greenville’s future development.

Professional and Social Organizational Activity: AIA, NCARB, USGBC – LEED AP, BD+C, USGBC-SE, USGBC-SC, GEAR UP Southeast Leadership Summit Chairman

John’s Notable 5: John C. Calhoun State Building | Columbia, SC

South Carolina Appeals Court and Justice Department | Columbia, SC

Florence Little Theatre | Florence, SC

Prince of Peace Catholic Church | Taylors, SC

York County Courthouse | York, SC


McGlothlin Center Anchors Arts Program at Emory & Henry

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The surrounding landscaping now established and the building now sitting familiarly on the south campus slope, The Woodrow W. McGlothlin Center for the Arts will open its doors on the second full academic year at Emory and Henry College this upcoming semester. CGD provided full design services for the facility.

Per the College’s ribbon cutting press release, “The Center for the Arts is a 47,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility designed for LEED silver energy efficiency standards. It consists of a 461-seat proscenium stage theatre and fly system and a 120-seat black box studio theatre. The building also includes dressing rooms, production areas, a modern art gallery, offices and studios for the campus radio station, WEHC 90.7 FM.”

The exterior is of brick and precast stone, in keeping with the historic, rural Virginia campus’s aesthetic. The overall building form gracefully steps down a steep embankment, conforming to the undulating terrain common to the campus and region. Funded in part by a Department of Agriculture grant, the center is meant to serve both students of Emory & Henry and the rural community at large for decades to come.

You can experience a virtual tour of the facility, both inside and out, by clicking here.

Enriched Education Through Thoughtful Design

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Craig Gaulden Davis is designing exceptional learning spaces that are transforming what facility design can contribute to education.  One recent example is the media center renovation at the Legacy Charter Early College Middle and High School in Greenville.  Once a dark, unwelcoming space, it has been reimagined as an open and bright collection of learning centers that promote connection, flexibility and discovery.

The first step was to integrate the academic needs and purposes expressed by school leadership with cutting edge developments in education facility design focused on the way students learn and conduct research today, and anticipating developments in the future.  Legacy is an Early College Program for grades 6-12, meaning that the school promotes a college-going culture where every student can develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary to attend college.

Our design team proposed making the media center a campus center, drawing together all learning components.  The design features multiple layout configurations, supporting students working alone, in small groups, and within their middle and high school cohorts.  As in a college setting, the spaces are technically enriched, flexible and collaborative with colorful writable walls and flexible furniture to support comfortable study as well as focused, engaged reading.  Digital technology is essential developing information literacy skills but must not take the place of a carefully selected collection of books.  At Legacy, the collection of printed books lines the back walls on the old shelves, preserved to tie the rich history of the old to the new facility.

The May 2017 Newsletter

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The Standard

In the May newsletter, we take a look back at downtown Greenville church renovations, the revitalized downtown Greenville Christian Science Reading Room, and our latest project with the Rick Erwin Dining Group – The Standard in Spartanburg. You can read it and sign up to receive it straight to your inbox once a month here.


Throwback Thursday – Downtown Churches

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St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Ministry Architecture

St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral

Over millennia, cities have existed not exclusively for the sake of commerce or culture but as Aristotle philosophized nearly 2,500 years ago, “for the sake of the good life.” Vardry McBee, heralded as the father of Greenville, perhaps recognized the role city centers can fulfill in inciting human flourishing and caring for the soul. Appropriately, McBee donated portions of his vast early 19th century land holdings as sites for four churches in Greenville’s then budding downtown.

CGD has played a role in expanding and renovating three of those original church buildings – First Presbyterian, Buncombe Street United Methodist, and Christ Church Episcopal. Additionally, CGD has had a hand in the restoration and renovation of Trinity Lutheran, Downtown Presbyterian, and a new St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral – all churches within Greenville’s downtown.

It goes without saying that brick, limestone, and mortar cannot redeem. However, as architects and designers, we recognize that the fashioning of a church building has pronounced implications on something as intimate as a worship experience – whether encountered at the scale of a city block or a communion table. It has been a delight for many at CGD over the years to examine liturgies, doctrines, and worship styles and craft spaces to complement. Having the opportunity to complete such work in our own downtown and see for ourselves how it contributes to the city center’s flourishing is an ongoing joy.

Spirit Driven

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Kim & her Administrative Professionals’ Day arrangement

Today is Administrative Professionals’ Day. Given her depth of knowledge on office history and goings-ons, ability to keep us all on track and the office running smoothly, skill to simultaneously manage a range of tasks from drafting proposals to pleasantly greeting visitors and phone callers, it seems inadequate to simply refer to Kim Poole as our in-office administrative professional. She does it all and will even pause to discuss rare vinyl finds and vintage roadsters. In fact, it was an affinity for timeless sportscars that played a role in Kim’s hiring at CGD 32 years ago. Kim recalls it all below, in her own words:

“Kirk Robins Craig was born on New Year’s Eve 1929 in Greenville, South Carolina.  He passed away on March 29, 2007.  Prior to establishing Craig and Gaulden Architects in 1957 with his Clemson classmate Earle Gaulden, he traveled extensively in Italy and France.  It was on one of those travels abroad that he took possession of a 1955 Austin Healey 100.  He drove it all over Europe before relinquishing it for an overseas voyage to the US in a shipping crate.

I learned about the car on the day I interviewed for what has now become my 32 year journey with Craig Gaulden Davis.  Education and past employment aside, I included a ‘hobby” on my resume that read, ‘Enjoy tinkering with sportscars.’  Following the formalities of the initial dialogue, our conversation turned to our mutual fascination for open top roadsters.  Probably the only time in history that arriving for a job interview in a 1973 Alfa Romeo Spider helped cinch employment!

Kirk and I enjoyed sharing many automotive stories over the years. The ’73 Alfa is no longer a resident of my garage, but I know that Kirk would be thrilled that his Austin Healey is being painstakingly restored piece by piece by a good friend, who reports, “It is totally disassembled, in primer and waiting for welding on rust repair.”  I am granted garage visiting privileges and hopeful for an opportunity to run Kirk’s Healey through the gears when the restoration is complete, accompanied by his red scarf.”

The April 2017 Newsletter

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Greenville County Museum of Art and Art School, Cultural ArchitectureOur April newsletter features a look back and forward to CGD’s impact on downtown Greenville’s cultural corridor, this past month’s A4LE conference, and a little office recreation. You can read it and sign up to receive it straight to your inbox once a month here.


Community & Culture – Then & Now

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Greenville Little Theatre


Hughes Main Library, Greenville County Library System, Interior Design

Hughes Main Library

Museum and Gallery at Heritage Green, Bob Jones University, Cultural

Museum and Gallery at Heritage Green

From the onset, Kirk Craig and Earle Gaulden envisioned their firm as one at the forefront of design innovation and cultural impact. Sixty years later, the impact of such foresight is evident in Greenville and across the Southeast.

Though this vision was intended to be applied regionally, its greatest enactment has arguably landed locally on Greenville’s Heritage Green. Over five decades, CGD has led the effort in creating a cultural pocket at the northwest extents of Greenville’s lauded downtown. The design of the Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville Little Theatre, Hughes Main Library, and the renovation of the Bob Jones Museum & Gallery affirm CGD’s enduring and comprehensive expertise in the field of community and cultural design.

Today, construction of the CGD-designed South Carolina Children’s Theatre is imminent, expanding a cultural corridor running from the Heritage Green, down Main Street to the Peace Center, and now into the West End. Concurrently, CGD’s regional impact persists as work on the initial design phase of the Columbia County (GA) Performing Arts Center nears completion. The 2,000 seat performing arts center will serve as a bedrock and focal point of the Evans, GA downtown.

CGD Completes Three Fulton County Libraries

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In association with Stanley, Love-Stanley, P.C., Smith Dalia Architects, and McAfee3, CGD has completed and celebrated the opening of three new libraries in Fulton County, Georgia over the past year and a half. The libraries, Metropolitan Branch, Southeast Atlanta Branch, and South Fulton Branch, have combined for numerous design awards. Each branch sits on a unique site and serves a distinctive neighborhood, thus an individual design approach was taken to all three.

The Metropolitan Branch (pictured) provides ample outdoor public grounds to support library programs and community events. Four freestanding Doric columns that once supported a church portico formerly on the site give the outdoor space a subtle boundary and function as dramatic and highly visible place markers. A transparent and contemporary exterior draws patrons in from the outdoor space to the light and playful interior space.

The Southeast Branch has a colorful interior scheme that activates the space. Ceiling clouds and floor material changes designate and get a cozy feel to what would otherwise be reading areas lost in the middle of open floor space. Large glass panels separating meeting rooms from the large circulation area provide acoustic privacy while maintaining an open feel throughout the space. Outside, organized simple geometric forms of varying materials give the overall edifice an appropriately playful yet bookish feel.

The South Fulton Branch is on a site where extensive efforts were made to preserve a ‘wooded backyard’. Design efforts focused on the dense area of trees on the site; a long, curved floor to ceiling storefront window wall stretches across the back of the collections area, affording patrons an alcove that overlooks the trees. The woodland themed is not forgotten within the library; an expansive custom wall covering that features an array of animals enlivens the children’s reading area. Further, each end panel on every bookshelf displays a large tree end grain graphic.


Enduring Relationships: Wren High School

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Wren High School, Anderson County Schools, K-12 Education Architecture

In August 2012, Wren High School, the pride of Piedmont, South Carolina, opened the doors to a dynamic new entry space, administrative area, and student commons area. CGD provided the design for transforming a once non-descript pick-up and drop-off plaza and covered walkway into an inviting entry experience. An aged, insipid space outside the nearby gymnasium gained new life as a student commons, complete with custom trophy cases and ribbony multicolored ceiling panels.

CGD’s relationship with Anderson School District 1 and Wren High School carries on today with the renovation and expansion of aging athletic facilities. This undertaking includes a new fieldhouse for four athletic teams, four new tennis courts, and new football concessions and restroom facilities. Enhancements will also include additional football stadium parking, upgraded accessibility, and landscaping. These improvements all serve to better consolidate Wren’s athletics into one area. Establishing lasting relationships with clients has long been a hallmark of CGD’s approach to design; these projects are a testament to such an approach and the steady enhancement of a campus over time.


Throwback Thursday – Another nod to a 1990s project in the rural northwestern Upstate

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Devil's Fork State Park, South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism, Recreation ArchitectureFrom the last TBT project (Ambler Elementary), go north through Pumpkintown, then take Scenic Highway 11 west just across the lake into Oconee County. Wind down and past roads with names that include the words hollow, whippoorwill, Boone, and ridge.

The destination, Devil’s Fork State Park, is a remote state park along the southern banks of Lake Jocassee. Completed in 1991, CGD provided design services for the updated vernacular cabins and shelters throughout the park. Featuring natural materials that meld into the sylvan backdrop and large screened porches that afford views of the water and surrounding hills, the secluded lakeside villas and covered shelters are still in use to this day.


Throwback Thursday (in first person) – Ambler Elementary School

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Pickens County takes immense pride in its small, rural, and high achieving elementary schools. Ambler Elementary School is a case in point. Twenty years ago, I was a 4th grade student attending class in the brand new CGD designed classroom and gym wing. The scope of the project also included renovating the cafetorium and existing classrooms, reorienting the main entrance, and building a new covered walkway along the pick-up and drop-off drive.

My memories of the new space are fond. The new gym, though small, was a cathedral compared to the musty portable that a group of twenty 10 year olds could seemingly rattle off of its cinder block foundation when doing jumping jacks or dosey-doeing during state-mandated square dance lessons. The renovated cafetorium was similarly grand to a 4th grader. Sunlight would burst through the large east facing windows in the morning while the entire student body waited to line up and go to class. It was during one such morning wait that a friend of mine plucked a live foot long snake off the floor as if it were just a napkin that needed to go in the trash. This was the same friend who came in another morning after being sprayed by a skunk and whose backpack, doubling as an after-hours game bag, contained traces of squirrel hair and blood.

The renovations and additions to Ambler merited t-shirts (now clearly tattered and threadbare) for the entire student body and a visit from Governor Beasley. It was a big deal and a joy to call ‘ours’. Looking back, it’s a great case for the impact designers have on the lives and wellbeing of those they serve – even 4th graders in northern Pickens County.

The Anchorage Opens in West Greenville

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Greenville’s repute as a once burgeoning, now coming-of-age gastronomic destination is a marvel to which even the New York Times lends recent credence. The city’s seemingly overnight ascension to credibility among epicures rests largely on the restaurants that champion efforts of local farms to supply kitchens with fresh ingredients for updated vernacular fare. The Anchorage is no exception; in commissioning Craig Gaulden Davis to reimagine a neglected structure in the Village of West Greenville, the restaurant’s commitment to homegrown endeavors extends beyond the kitchen and crop field and to the drafting table.

The Anchorage charged CGD with giving their decrepit 2,400 SF space a neighborly feel and sense of community while preserving the historic character unique to the three adjoining structures that comprise the overall edifice. Design leader Stuart Stenger incorporated rough sawn wood members, re-exposed brick walls, and custom millwork sawn from reclaimed beams onsite. Greenville artists and artisans were commissioned to furnish artwork and custom pendants. A rotted portion of the second story floor was demolished, creating opportunity for a soaring entry space; progressing into the dining area, the room constricts to be more intimate. Whitewashed joists and tongue and groove ceilings overhead soften the experience, affording a dining ambiance distinctive to a place rising to a modernity that is contentedly rooted in the past.

New Year, New Website

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It has largely been business as usual at CGD over the last several months. Computers boot and coffee drips each morning; proposals and drawing sets go out the door. The in-office putt-putt tournaments were played and the jacket and cups awarded.

But, even as our e-newsletter (which we hope you receive) went out on time each month, broken links and outdated templates resulted in our web presence appearing stale. As a way of ushering in the firm’s 60th anniversary year, it is a thrill to unveil our newly designed site. Our intent is that this site will prove more stable and agile across platforms, provide a coherent overview of who we are and what we offer as design professionals, and simply be more aesthetically appealing. Firmness, commodity, delight – the three Vitruvian principles of design we learn in school and apply in all of our work. Thank you for stopping by.

CGD Goes to School

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legacyvisitOn Thursday, the CGD staff had the pleasure of touring Legacy Charter Middle and Early College High Schools. Over the years, CGD has been closely involved with renovations across the schools’ shared campus, creating a vibrant learning space out of the formerly abandoned Parker High School on Greenville’s west side. A sampling of those projects includes a new secure yet welcoming main entrance, a fitness center, updates to classroom and hallway finishes, and most recently the kitchen and dining area. Under construction is a new media center, amphitheater, and walkways better connecting the campus. It was in the radiant new dining area that our staff was able to sit with Legacy staff to learn about the good work happening at the schools and enjoy the same fresh and nutritious lunch Legacy students have every day.